Our last zone meeting was really good! They talked about attitude and accountability. Just reminded me how we can control our attitude no matter what our surroundings are. And how our thoughts should also reflect what we want our attitude to be. Because sometimes I let my thoughts get the better of me and get down on myself or whatever. But I've tried to be more positive in my thoughts and in everything I do this week and it's been really good!!
This week has been good. Full of the Spirit. I wish I could remember everything that happened but when it gets to be Monday it's all gone. So I apologize. But one person really sticks out to me this last week. One has become less active because he became paralyzed, and he has a really hard time speaking. Although his mind is still really sharp. He was the Branch president in the past and super active. We have visited him three times now and the spirit is SO strong every time. But he is really confused and doesn't understand why this has happened to him. Which I don't blame him.. I can't imagine. Last time he showed me pictures when he went to salt lake to see the temple. We both cried. It was kind of adorable. But the priesthood are now taking sacrament to his house on sundays and he loves it. And our last visit he told us to make sure we come back every week. It's soo hard to see people here sometimes and what they are going through. But I know Heavenly Father loves them so much. I feel it so strong. I've learned so much from him and look forward to our next visits with him!! He's making so much progress. :)
There's lots of investigators here. Not as much as our last area. Which is okay, so we can actually kind of focus on some people! But we are doing to best to find some new ones as well. One sister is going to be baptized this end of September and another in October. :) I feel confident those ones will go through! Yesterday we had a really good lesson with a long time investigator. And he had so many good questions!! Like really deep questions... And the Holy Ghost definitely drove and at the beginning of the lesson I was so super worried about what I was going to say cause he had all these insane questions. And I just said a quick prayer Heavenly Father please help us say what thou would say. And it was so good!! He wants to come to church! Miracles are real!
Earlier this week we had a little experience. Our fire alarm started going off at 330 in the morning and it was yelling carbon monoxide! I was tripping. And Sister Sapinoso was like it's fine... lets just go back to sleep. But it kept going off and saying that and I was like Sister... we are going to die. So I called the Zone leaders... because Elder Brandon is American and I just really wanted to speak english haha. And after 3 calls they answered. Poor guys... And he was like "go outside right now sisters!" And then they called sister rahlf, and president rahlf called us. And told me how to disarm it and it was probably a false reading because everything is so open in the philippines they don't really have a problem with carbon monoxide. But I couldn't disarm it... So President Rahlf and Sister Rahlf came to our apartment at 530 in the morning to disarm our alarm... So I mean there's that. HA. It was pretty intense! But hey we are alive!! So don't worry!! And President and Sister Rahlf are the best!!
I was transferred to Cauayan! It was the weirdest thing.. Because when I transferred to Penablanca before I had a feeling that I would be transferred to Cauayan but "not yet." And then this last transfer I had a feeling once again I was going to the Cauayan Zone and BOOM it happened, haha revelation is real. But I'm super stoked!! And I'm spoiled out of my mind here and I don't even know how to handle it... haha even just from a few days here, I know this is exactly where the Lord needs me right now. Or where I need to be to learn and to grow. And to meet these wonderful people. I know what you said is true, the Lord is so aware of us and has a plan for each of us.
I was reading in Ether about the brother of Jared and just fell in love with the scriptures about him. His faith was so strong and he relied on the Lord. And then he couldn't be kept from the veil. How faithful he had to have been for that to happen! But he was also chastened by the Lord. Because for 4 years he forgot to "call upon Him." Just helped me realize we are all not perfect!! And all forget things sometimes, but it's okay. The Lord is always there to get us back on the right track. :) Even the best of the best people in the Book of Mormon need chastising. When I found out as I was transferring.. I was so sad! Because I truly love the people here, but I know my work here is done. And that the Lord needs me somewhere else for some reason. And so I'm so happy to go and harvest in another area. :)
This week has been good. We were able to have some fellowshippers for the first time in like a month! And those investigators came to church yesterday!! Their testimonies were so strong so I really think they felt the spirit and that's why they came to church!! But they are really searching and have tons of questions so I'm excited to continue teaching them!!
A scripture that I really liked this week is D&C 123:17. "Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance...” Just how sometimes this world we live in is so crazy!! And the world keeps changing its standards. But how truly blessed we are to have the knowledge of the gospel. And we know that God's standards will never change. There's so many broken families here, and sometimes it's so hard to see and to imagine. Cause we have been blessed with such a great one. But I know as we do all we can in our power, we can have confidence in this crazy world we live in. :) And there is SO much to be enjoyed
Another thing I liked this week.. one of the members we visited shared us his story.. which is amazing. But he was baptized in like 1980 something but just become active like 3 years ago. And he stopped his schooling at grade 3. So basically he couldn't really read or write well. But for the past 3 years he's read his scriptures every night. And wrote his thoughts and now he's a freaking boss! He's so smart and so good at reading and writing. It was so cool to see the blessings that have come and are coming in his life because of the gospel!
I'm in 3rd Nephi right now where Jesus is teaching the people. SO powerful. I love reading the Book of Mormon!! You can't read it and not feel the truthfulness of it. There's such a difference when an investigator reads the BOM and when they don't. Night and day. :) I know it's true!! And it can help us with anything!
This week has been good!! Challenging. We are now teaching a Jehovah's Witness. (Which there is a lot of here by the way...) She's really nice and willing to listen to us. And is really good at the bible. I've been really studying basic doctrines in the bible so we've been able to share those with her and the spirit is so strong in our lessons!! I really hope she continues to be taught!!
I've never been so aware of all my weaknesses and insecurities as I am now... haha it's kind of ridiculous. BUT I'm learning so much!! And I'm absolutely loving it!! I know this is the Lord's work. And we ALL chose to come here at this time to hasten it. It's an exciting time!! Sometimes scary. But as we put our trust in the truths we know.. I know we can find comfort and peace. :) And we need not fear what lies ahead!!
We had our district meeting and I was talking to one of the Elders who just transferred into our zone this cycle and he asked me when I go home. (because that's just what all the missionaries ask haha) And I told him July next year. And he would not believe me for the longest time!! He's like no way!! Your Tagalog is too good, blah blah blah. So that made my day last week!! Gosh, I just love those dang philippinos who compliment me!!
Also something that I really enjoyed this week, I finished Mark and I was reading in one of the manuals about Mark 15:34 when Jesus asks Heavenly Father why He has forsaken Him - how Heavenly Father had to withdraw His spirit in order for Jesus Christ to complete the Atonement. So it just made me think, that sometimes we may feel like Heavenly Father has forsaken us. But sometimes, I think He just has something bigger in store for us. And everything is really to test our faith. I know as we put our trust in Him, we have no need to fear. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are ALWAYS here for us. :)
So Pena Blanca apartment. Is alright! Haha. It's right next to a highway so it's pretty loud but not too bad. And we are right next to a Jesus Is Lord church, kind of funny. It's kind of like tucked away, so it gets really hot and stuffy but it's getting better as it's getting cooler. And I love my CR (comfort room, bathroom) It has a shower head and a flushing toilet!! Never get both I hear so I count myself as blessed!
I read in a quote I had from my scriptures how the Savior is the perfect example of love. And how the biggest sign of love is giving. We can give without love but we can't love without giving. Heavenly Father GAVE His only Beggotten for us and the Savior GAVE His life for us. And Jesus Christ's whole life was dedicated to giving and to helping others.
Also, kind of like you have been saying to me this whole time, but I just realized it more in depthly, with planting seeds. The whole reason we even know our investigator now is because missionaries found her almost two years ago. They planted the seed for us to harvest. Just kind of helped me realize or remember, that those we are not able to get in touch with right now or change right now, we have truly planted a seed. And Heavenly Father will send missionaries later on, or someone later on to harvest that. :)
Pena Blanca is good!! I really do love it here. Our baptism went through on Saturday! It was beautiful. I cried. I thank you for my emotional problems ;) Haha just kidding. But it was soo good!!
So this week I fell in love... with a fruit!! Atis. SO GOOD. Basically like a really sugary apple, but it has like a million seeds so it's kind of hard to eat, but DELICIOUS. And of course the mangos are to die for!! Now there's tons of pineapple too! Whooo. So much fruit. So little time! Also its rainy season now so there's tons of more insects in our apartment! Mmmmm. My favorite. Ha but it's really not too bad. It just rains almost every day! Only 4 missionaries transferred from our zone this last transfer!! Including the two going home. So pretty much the same zone again! Which is fine because I love them all!! But there's a new sister in our district! Yay I'm not the newest Americana anymore!! Haha best thing of my life.
It has cooled down a little bit! Especially at night, two nights this week I had to use a sheet and actually turned off the fan in the middle of the night, say what!? So that's been nice.
One experience I just want to share really quick, on Tuesday we went to teach our investigator who was expecting to get baptized. He lives with his aunt, who is a member. And she's always so nice when we see her, but usually really busy! But I had the prompting to just ask about her and how she was REALLY doing. She literally told us her life story in a brief... 3 hours!!! HA. YOW. But her story is amazing!! She has lost both of her parents and a brother. Her husband has left her for someone else. They have three kids. And she takes care of one child (who got baptized, cause he's lost his parents.. , the Aunt's brother) and she was just overwhelmed! She works three jobs and her youngest is almost a year. She told us about how she prayed earlier that day for someone that she could talk to. And then when she saw us walking up the dirt road she said, "thank you Heavenly Father" So our day definitely didn't turn out how we wanted. We didn't have any lessons. But we knew she needed that. Being here, has helped me realize how small my problems really are. And the things that really do matter.
I'm so thankful I've been blessed with such a wonderful family!! So many do not have that blessing in their life. I'm so thankful for this wonderful gospel we have. I know it is true! I know it. I know that Heavenly Father is just waiting to bless us. Sometimes we just have to ask.
So yesterday was kind of crazy! There was a typhoon, about a level 2. We were encouraged to stay indoors all day but it let up about 1 and we were able to go out and work! Thank goodness! I don't know what I would have done all day in our apartment! And they even cancelled church! First time I've seen that happen.. sacrament meeting and all. It rained SO hard! Haha and was super windy but we were totally safe! The roads after were drenched and full of mud and the poor corn fields... all the corn is destroyed. BUT everyone just got out and started cleaning up like no big deal haha, resilient these people are I tell you! And today everything is dry and it's hot once again haha welcome to the Philippines!
This week has been pretty good though! We had FHE on Monday with a ward family which was actually a blast! Philippinos are HILARIOUS and FHE. When they play games, they freak out. So today my day was definitely made because we went to McDonald's for lunch and guess what was everywhere..... MINIONS!! Haha I guess that movie came out right?? Well definitely got a happy meal and definitely got a little minion toy so I was pretty happy about that haha.
I read Moses this week. And it made me really miss the temple! But just reconfirmed to me how perfect Heavenly Father's plan is. And how everything happened for a reason. A lot of people we are teaching don't really understand the purpose of Adam and Eve so I've loved learning more about them and studying about the Fall so I can be able to explain things. But I know it's okay for us not to understand everything, or reasons for everything. But as long as we trust Heavenly Father and His plan, that's all we need.